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359m investment in research, innovation and jobs
Posted on 16 Jul 2010 by the Editor
<P align=justify>The Government's Programme for Research in Third-Level Institutions (PRTLI) invests in physical infrastructure and research projects in our higher education institutions.</P>
<P align=justify>Under Cycle 5 of the programme, announced today, the Government will invest &euro;296.1 million, with &euro;62.6 million coming from private non-Exchequer sources.</P>
<P align=justify>PRTLI Cycle 5 will run between 2011 and 2016 - the period of the revised capital programme.</P>
<P align=justify>The Taoiseach said: "During my visit to the United States this week, I emphasised that the recovery in Ireland is underway.</P>
<P align=justify>"We have taken the difficult decisions and we are coming out of the crisis.</P>
<P align=justify>"Our focus now is on maximising sustainable growth and job creation.</P>
<P align=justify>"Over the past decade, Ireland established a strong research environment and built scientific excellence in strategic areas.</P>
<P align=justify>"However, as noted by the Innovation Taskforce, we now need to translate this investment into sustainable jobs and economic growth.</P>
<P align=justify>"We need to strengthen links between our research institutions and industry to ensure that we develop, transfer and apply knowledge in productive ways.</P>
<P align=justify>"The &euro;500 million Innovation Fund I launched in New York earlier this week seeks to attract top-tier venture capitalists to Ireland.</P>
<P align=justify>"This is another piece in our strategy to support Irish start-ups and attract overseas entrepreneurs to Ireland."</P>
<P align=justify>Construction work under the PRTLI Cycle 5 investment will provide more than 64,000sq/m of research space in new and refurbished buildings on our higher education campuses and create some 2,000 jobs in the sector.</P>
<P align=justify>The research projects will create 379 direct jobs and a significant number of research studentships.</P>
<P align=justify>Launching PRTLI Cycle 5 with the Taoiseach, the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Innovation, Batt O'Keeffe TD, said the five-year plan - the largest investment in research in the history of the State - would help to create &#8216;smart&#8217; jobs and make Ireland Europe's innovation hub.</P>
<P align=justify>"The Government's investment of &euro;296 million under PRTLI Cycle 5 is crucial to our economic recovery.</P>
<P align=justify>"It will transform Ireland's research landscape and lay the foundations for a prosperity based on sustainable high-quality jobs."</P>
<P align=justify>'By investing in research, buildings and people, we can continue to make our higher education institutions among the best in the world and drive a new culture of innovation that will create smart jobs for smart people,' said Minister O'Keeffe.</P>
<P align=justify>Direct commercial outputs from research are accelerating.</P>
<P align=justify>Since 2006, invention disclosures have doubled and patent licences issued to companies have trebled.</P>
<P align=justify>Between 2006 and 2009, spin-out firms from higher education research have risen from eight to 35.</P>
<P align=justify>Last year, half of IDA Ireland's foreign direct investment wins were in research, development and innovation and valued at &euro;500 million.</P>
<P align=justify>These are largely dependent on a vibrant research and innovation ecosystem.</P>
<P align=justify>&#8216;The new higher education infrastructure will allow Enterprise Ireland to embed industry-led competence centres and enable Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) to build world-class research capacity in areas linked to industry,&#8217; said Minister O'Keeffe.</P>
<P align=justify>SFI-funded researchers are involved in more than 600 collaborations working with 349 small businesses and multinationals which, between them, employ 56,000 workers here.</P>
<P align=justify>The successful projects were determined from a competitive process over 18 months and involved international experts assessing the potential of Irish research to deliver jobs.</P>
<P align=justify>While recognising the interdisciplinary nature of the initiatives, the investments can broadly be characterised as: <BR>&nbsp;&euro;36 million for capacity development in innovation, arts, humanities and social sciences; <BR>&nbsp;&euro;53 million for capacity development in environment, marine and sustainable energy; <BR>&nbsp;&euro;66 million for capacity development in material sciences and platform technology; <BR>&nbsp;&euro;204 million for capacity development in bioscience, translational research and biomedical research.</P>
<P align=justify>All projects have a wide range of supporting partners including multinational and indigenous enterprises, commercial and developmental State bodies, and international affiliates.</P>
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